In light of the heinous incident that took place in Paris yesterday, I wanted to offer an alternative perspective.
The new year grants an opportunity for rebirth and renewal; it is a time for shedding calluses from the trials and tribulations of the past, and allows us to emerge with hope and energy for the next 12 months. As the first major world event in 2015, I see this as a reminder for us to question our own beliefs. What fear are we still holding onto? What are we defending? Perhaps we should leave these things in 2014.
Let us neither condemn the perpetrators nor the acts themselves, as these only serve as an extreme example for how our defensive nature manifests itself in crimes against humanity. Let us consider that by holding onto our own limiting beliefs, we are commiting these crimes against ourselves. And lastly, let us illuminate the part within ourselves that still remains shrouded in darkness. As Rumi once said, "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there."
It is my deepest wish that we stand together in unity and commit to choosing love over fear in this time of awakening. Nous sommes Charlie.
My sole (or should I say, soul) intention is to spread a message of peace and love. I truly apologize if my perspective seems insensitive in any way. Let me clarify that when I say "Let us not condemn" I'm speaking in a spiritual context, because I believe that when we condemn others, we're actually condemning ourselves; I suggest we look at others with love, empathy, and compassion. But in the context of physical reality, I believe these particular individuals deserve to answer for their crimes.
I have struggled for most of my life with my own freedom of speech: never wanting to be too controversial, or step on anybody's toes. But it's a new year, and the dawn of a new era, and I will not allow myself to submit to fear. I suppose that voicing my unique perspective on this situation is one of the best ways to honor the victims who spoke bravely despite controversy.
For another alternative perspective, here's the proliific Russell Brand's take: